Joint pain is one of the most common health concerns. It affects 30
percent of U.S. adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC). Not surprisingly, joint pain prevalence
increases with age. Forty-two percent of adults 45–64 years old, and
about one-half of adults 65 and older, have experienced recent joint
pain, the CDC reports.
“Just because a person ages, it doesn't mean they should hurt,” says
Dr. Christopher Mohr, a fitness and nutritional expert who consults
for television, print and radio outlets throughout the country.
“Lifestyle plays a big role in maintaining joint health. Joint
health and integrity is built on a strong foundation – diet,
exercise, and weight management.”
Mohr offers four all-natural ways to improve – and even eliminate –
joint pain in the knees, hips and ankles:
1. Eat for joint health
Key nutrients that help with joint health, mobility and lubrication
are healthy fats like omega-3s. “Think of these like lube for your
joints,” says Mohr. “Replace some of the usual protein in your diet
with fish – wild salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies, etc. Aim to do
this at least twice per week.”
In addition to increasing foods with healthy omega-3 fats, Mohr
recommends reducing unhealthy fats like trans and saturated fats.
These are often found in packaged items, sweet treats and other
overly processed foods.
“Of course, also think about adding loads and loads of colorful
veggies and fruits, as well as decreasing sugar and other refined
carbs in the diet,” Mohr suggests.
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2. Add supplements
Omega-3 fats can support joint health, but often people don’t get
enough through the foods they eat. Supplementation is a good option
for people who suffer from joint pain. “Joint health can be
maintained by ‘feeding’ the body what it needs,” says Mohr. “Nordic
Naturals provides a high-quality, concentrated dose of omega-3 fats
that your body uses most efficiently. I like the Nordic Naturals EPA
Xtra product, as EPA is one of the omega-3 fats that's particularly
beneficial for healthy joints.”
3. Manage a healthy weight
“The less body weight you have to carry around, the easier it will
be to move around,” says Mohr. “Make physical activity a regular
part of your day. The stronger your muscles, the easier it will be
to move comfortably. Above all, this will help relieve some of the
common pains in the joints.”
4. Stay physically active
Mohr says one of the most common misconceptions about joint pain is
that rest is helpful. “Unfortunately that becomes a vicious cycle,
where more rest can ultimately cause more pain because the
surrounding muscles are getting weaker and giving less support to
those joints,” he says.
Appropriate physical activity should be part of a daily joint-health
routine, but it doesn’t require joining a gym or hiring a trainer.
Start with simple steps, like standing instead of sitting, walking
as much as possible, swimming at a pool, etc. Basic movements can
keep weight in check and maintain joint and muscle integrity.
Joint pain and soreness is common. By taking a few simple steps at
home, you can dramatically change how you feel and how you move, so
you can live to the fullest every day.